The Executive Board


Meeting of June 18, 2002

Held in the Poole Board Room of the Wardlaw Building


Members Present: Abdel-Khalik (ME); Allen (Arch); Estes (EDI); Hall (Bio); Henry (OSP); Horton (GRRI/BD for Richards); Jayaraman (Mgt); Kahn (CEE); Welch (GTRI); Alexander (Staff Rep); DesCamps (for Michaels G. Stu); Thomas (SoF).


Members Absent: Boyd (Stu. Services);  Mark (CoC);  Marr (Psy); McGuire (LCC); Wardi (ECE); Swank (GTRI); Clough (Pres); Chameau (Provost); Massey (U. Stu).


Visitors:  McMath (Provost Office): Begovic (ECE); Bohlander (GTRI); May (Pres. Ofc)


1.                  Said Abdel Khalik, chair opened the meeting at 3:00 pm. In the absence of the President, the Chair called on Bob McMath to discuss any matters of general interest. McMath commented.


(a) Tech has come out well in the overall system budget in a year of budgetary difficulty. We are pleased with the Chancellor’s response to our needs.

(b) We have also done well with capital projects. At their June meeting the  Board added to the list of capital projects a major Clean Room facility which will cost $45M.

(c) Also in June the Board discussed various changes to program names. In particular, they decided that the Master program in Management at Tech may be renamed as an MBA. The issue of U. GA and Engineering programs is now more muted. Tech argues that the State does not need to replicate engineering programs.

(d) All construction projects are on schedule. The ES+T building will be opened in the Fall. Just yesterday ground was broken in Savannah for the new GTREP campus.

McMath was asked about the effective date for the renaming of the MBA program. He stated that this was effective June 12th and would therefore not impact graduates of this last Spring.


2.   The Chair asked for approval of the minutes of the April 9th meeting of the Executive Board. This was agreed without dissent.


3.   The Chair asked that the Board act on behalf of the Academic Senate and “approve” the minutes of the Student Activities Committee for January 11, 2001 and March 2, 2001. These are from last year and have been inadvertently omitted from Senate agenda. They involve no action items and the full annual report of that committee for the year has been previously approved without question. The Board voted approval. 


4.   The Secretary introduced certain administrative matters related to replacements of persons on committees. Under the Statutes the Board must make the replacement, and the appointed person should normally be somebody who has run for the office in a recent election.

(a) Due to resignation from Tech of Larry Hodges (CoC) it is necessary to appoint a replacement to serve his three-year term on the Academic Services Committee. Thomas proposed that the Board appoint Jim Sowell of Physics. This was agreed without dissent.

(b) Due to Turgay Uzer’s election to the Executive Board, it is necessary to replace him on the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee for the remaining two years of his term. Thomas proposed that Tony Waselewski (GTRI-EOEML) be appointed. This was agreed without dissent.

(c)Prateen Desai has retired and must be replaced for the remaining one year of his term on the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee. There are no remaining persons who have run for this committee in the last two years. Thomas suggested that the Board authorize him to contact a person who has served on that committee in recent years and invite them to complete the one-year term. He proposed to contact, in order,  Mark Richards (EE), John Muzzy (ChE) and Vicki Galloway (ML). This was approved without dissent.

(d) Since Said Abdel Khalik becomes Secretary in July 2002 he must be replaced as an Engineering College representative on the Executive Board for the remaining one year portion of his term. Thomas proposed that Pradeep Agrawal (ChE) who ran for election in 2002 be appointed to that one-year term and be permitted to run for a full three-year term in 2003. This was agreed without dissent.


5.   The Student Honor Committee has asked the Board to permit formation of an ad-hoc subcommittee to assist with cases related to Computer Science Courses (copy of proposal attached). The sub-committee would report to the full Honor Committee and the latter would take responsibility for all decisions. Students would retain the option of having their case reviewed by the full committee rather than the sub-committee. Thomas pointed out that we do not yet have the full list of members proposed to form the committee; that will be available shortly. It was moved that the formation of the subcommittee be approved, subject to final approval of the names of members by an e-mail vote of the Board. This was agreed without dissent. 


6.   Thomas introduced a request from Chuck Donbaugh, Associate VP for Human Resources, that General Faculty Status be awarded to Mary Kessler. Kessler is to be hired as “Project Director of the Information Technology Technical Assistance Center” of the “Center for Technology and Environmental Access”. Kessler has an advanced degree (MBA) which is a normal qualification for GF status. She also has more than five years experience in Medical Services and Medical Care. Thomas suggested that the combination of degree and experience fulfilled the intent of the statutory requirement that a person should be a professional in a relevant field. There were questions as to whether there might be other cases like this in the future. Thomas stated that most similar cases would be handled directly by Donbaugh with the authority already delegated to him by the Board. The present case was slightly unusual in that the qualification and experience were not in the same fields; nevertheless both were relevant to the job description. Donbaugh probably considered this case to be at the edge of his authority and wished for the support of a direct decision of the Board.  It was moved that General Faculty status be awarded to Mary Kessler and this was agreed without dissent.


7.   The Chair called on Ron Bohlander to report on the activities of the subcommittee (of the Academic Services Committee) on Distance Learning and IP Rights. Bohlander distributed explanatory handouts (see attachments).

The committee has benefited from the specialized expertise of its members. Several also serve on the Provost’s task force addressing related issues. The Committee has gathered information on the policies of other universities and placed this on a web site for general information. They adopted a four-step methodology.

Understand the legal boundaries

  Learn what other universities are doing

  Analyze what stake holders need

  Draft and refine recommended policy.

They recommend some minimal changes in present IP policy and do not recommend the writing of a special policy for Distance Learning issues. Proposed changes are largely editorial in nature and are given on one of the attachments that directly compare existing IP policy with a proposed revised document.

We have in the past treated patents differently from copyrights. The committee believes that the two should be integrated with the same rewards structure for both types of IP rights. Also the rights and responsibilities of all parties should be made clearer.

The recommended changes to the IP Property Policy include:

Clarification of multiple author situations

Disclosure  requirements in the case of educational materials.

  Procedures for supplemental agreements

  A new section on “Fair Use” policy

Clarification of the position of student work in class-room assignments.


The Committee feels that its work is now finished. After a formal report to their parent committee they would ask that their proposed policy changes be submitted to the General Faculty for approval. They also suggest that the Board arrange for a review of policies on Conflict of Interest (handbook section 5.2) and Public Service programs (handbook section 5.3).  

Welch commented that the Board had already authorized a committee to consider conflict of interest situations and that is in the course of being organized. Allen asked whether this new policy would mean that faculty could not retain student work. Bohlander responded that the proposed policy provided a license for faculty to retain and use such material.

The Chair stated that it was difficult to review such a complex proposal at the present meeting. The Board will give it a detailed review when the Academic Services Committee formally transmits the report to the Board. In the meantime he suggested that the proposed changes should be sent to the Provost for review and comment; Bohlander agreed to do this. Jayaraman asked whether the Power Point presentation which he produces for his class is the property of himself or of Georgia. Tech. Bohlander stated that this type of situation remains fuzzy. One is using university resources but creation of the material is a personal activity. The situation would need to be clarified.


8.   Abdel-Khalik introduced the proposed “Charge” to the Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee (SAFAC) in the matter of a review of “Grading Policy” (see attachments). This results from a number of previous discussions by the Board. He sought approval. The Chair was asked whether the committee would have free reign to explore all relevant matters; the Chair responded that this was the case and the committee should feel free to propose appropriate modifications to the charge. Begovic, as Chair of the SAFAC proposed that the study group should include representation by the IRP Office and CETL and also assistant chairs in charge of undergraduate programs from all academic units. Abdel Khalik commented that the inclusion of assistant chairs would lead to a very large body which was likely to be unwieldy. The committee obviously has the prerogative to contact anybody it wishes but the actual membership of the study group should perhaps be kept to limited size. He stated that the committee should feel it has the leeway to chart its own course in this matter.

The Chair asked that the Board approve this charge to the SAFAC and this was agreed without dissent.


9.   McMath introduced documents which provided a policy for the periodic review of Deans and for the review of Chairs. Copies of both are attached. The document covering Deans is a revision of the document already in the handbook. The Chairs document is new but is based on a decision of the faculty in 1996. In part both follow the procedures of the 5-year post-tenure review of faculty. The policies will lead to a formalization of the process for Chairs. Under the category of “Deans” are included the Dean of Libraries and the Director of GTRI. These two positions are special cases and we will need to make appropriate modifications to the procedures when reviews of these two positions are carried out.

Abdel-Khalik commented that this action simply formalizes processes approved by the faculty many years ago. Bohlander asked whether it was the intent that visiting committees be part of the review. McMath replied that the policy allows this to happen if appropriate.

Abdel-Khalik asked for the concurrence of the Board that these policies be placed in the handbook. This was agreed without dissent.


10.  The Chair introduced discussion of the proposal for a policy on “Religious Observances”. A number of committees had been asked to submit comments. The general feedback was that the policy was not workable and will cause problems. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (IUCC) had suggested an alternative approach. They argued that “Religious Observances” were a personal matter and therefore fell under the existing policy covering personal absences. They suggested that the wording of section IV.B.2 of the Student rules and Regulations be slightly modified to make that clear.

Abdel-Khalik commented that his own survey of 14 major religions had demonstrated that there are months in the year where every day is a religious observance of one religion or another. He recommended that the Board seek to have the IUCC’s proposal implemented. Gary May stated that the President would find that an acceptable resolution of the matter. Accordingly it was proposed that the Board ask the Student Regulations Committee to consider a revision of the Student rules and Regulations section IV.B.2 to read as follows.

“All students are responsible for obtaining an understanding of each instructor’s policy regarding absences; all students are expected to attend announced quizzes, laboratory periods, and final examinations. Although it is recognized that occasionally it may be necessary for students to be absent from scheduled classes or laboratories for personal reasons, including major religious observances, students are responsible for all materials covered in their absences, and they are responsible for the academic consequences of their absences. Students should discuss planned absences with their instructors as soon as possible after the beginning of an academic term. Work missed may be made up at the discretion of the instructors.”.

This was agreed without dissent.


11. The Chair asked for any other business; there was none.


12. The Chair then remarked that this was the last meeting to be attended by the Secretary, Edward Thomas. On behalf of the Board he thanked Thomas for his contributions to faculty governance. There was a standing ovation.


13. The Chair closed the meeting at 4:15 p.m.




Respectfully submitted,



Edward W. Thomas

Secretary of the Faculty

June 19, 2002



Attachments. (Distributed at the meeting and to be attached to the archival copy of the minutes).

(1) Agenda.

(2) Proposal for the creation of an Ad-Hoc Committee of the Honor Committee. (Submitted by Karen Boyd and Ray Vito).

(3) “GIT’s IP Policy in an Era of Distance Learning and Related Developments” (Progress report by R. Bohlander June 18, 2002).

(4) Draft Recommendations of DLIP Subcommittee. (By Bohlander)

(5) Executive Board Charge to Student Academic and Financial Affairs Committee (prepared by Marr and Wardi).

(6) “Process for 5-year Comprehensive Review and Evaluation of Deans of Academic Units at Georgia Tech” (submitted by McMath).

(7) “Process for 5-year Comprehensive Review and Evaluation of School Chairs at Georgia Tech”. (submitted by McMath).